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How is Fintech changing the commerce industry?

10/12/18

Fintech is constantly rewriting the rules on how companies operate, how businesses lend money, and how customers pay for goods. It’s exciting to see how it’s changing the way we conduct transactions across the market, and it’s going from strength to strength. Fintech was the leading sector for investment last year, with UK financial technology firms attracting a record £1.34 billion in venture capital funding.

With the fintech market constantly evolving, from blockchain to automation, let’s look at how it’s impacting commerce and people’s roles: 

Flexibility and Accessibility 

One of the key benefits of fintech is its flexibility and the ease with which it can be adapted to suit the evolving digital market. In today’s hyper-connected world, it offers accessibility; casual shoppers, business people, and even companies can access their money instantaneously on banking apps, and pay for services with the touch of a button. It’s a new way of doing business, and digital-only banks like N26 and Revolut are springing up to deal with this method of frictionless payment, challenging traditional banks as they do so. 

Falling behind means losing business, and fintech is disrupting the rules of business. The trend towards instant accessibility is raising client expectations: companies need to ensure that they’re providing a high-quality online service to their customers if they want to remain competitive. Whether it’s a mobile-friendly service or a 24/7 helpline, flexibility and digital accessibility are today’s keywords, and this is creating a demand for faster, more efficient ways of doing business.

Innovation in Auditing

The rise of fintech has also brought about a revolution in the role of the auditor. Blockchain technology has repeatedly been hailed as a breakthrough in the burgeoning crypto economy, receiving more than £500m of investment in the UK alone over the past year- and for good reason! 

Blockchain is a decentralised online ‘ledger’ that records all transactions made for a particular company. Each transaction creates a ‘link’ that is locked into an online chain of similar transactions and makes it extremely difficult to tamper with; to interfere with one transaction, you need to tamper with all of them. 

The biggest challenge an auditor faces is having the relevant data on hand to carry out their daily responsibilities; now that businesses are operating essentially in ‘real time’, a blockchain ledger containing essential data for any business can be monitored and maintained by the internal audit team, and then verified by an external team. For anybody working in accounting, adopting blockchain is an excellent way to minimise error, risk and enhance accountability, whilst also freeing up time to concentrate on other important tasks.  

AI and Conversational Commerce

From deep learning to analytics, AI is playing a vital role in influencing the market. Indeed, fintech companies are turning to smart technology to develop new interfaces, such as apps, through which they can learn more about their client base than ever before. 

Using smart software helps companies in commerce to automate day to day tasks like data analysis, freeing up time normally spent on time-consuming or mundane parts of their job to do more valuable, high-level work. In fact, AI can do everything from draft contracts to analyse customer data and create actionable insights into the way an organisation does business; naturally, fintech companies that provide this software are thriving. 

The benefits go further. For accounting teams, using automation and RegTech can even help them detect fraud, as the system can process, analyse and monitor customer behaviour to detect suspicious transactions and flag them for further investigation. With so many uses, it’s no wonder that fintech is paving the way for teams to do their day to day jobs more efficiently than ever before.

An interconnected market 

With all of this innovation taking place, we’re expecting to see more collaboration between big business - especially in commerce - and smaller start-ups, as both sides seek to leverage the other's expertise and gain more visibility in the market. Companies like Mastercard are partnering with and nurturing start-ups in order to encourage innovation within the market; still others, like Visa, are partnering with start-ups like Paidy, which offers post-payment credit services for eCommerce customers in Japan. As the fintech market expands, expect to see more of this collaboration, as firms grow closer together in order to innovate their customer offering.

Looking to the future with Marks Sattin

At Marks Sattin, we’re excited to see what the future will bring for the commerce industry, especially as fintech strengthens its grip on the market. It’s time to get involved: take the next step in your career and become part of the change with our range of jobs in commerce and industry, or read our blog for more insights. 

 
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